More than just colours and typography.

Posted by on Oct 2, 2011 in views | No Comments

Over the years I’ve gotten a lot of similar reactions when I introduce myself as a creative person who happens to run a small creative consultancy.

“So you do brochures ah?”

“Must be fun playing with colours and fonts!”

“Wow you guys must be living in an aesthetic world of colours everyday!”

And the most popular one of the lot: “You must really be creative!”

I must admit that the above statements are not wrong. However, I feel that they do not correctly and adequately reflect (and justify) what we do day in, day out.

First of all I think the term “creative” is overstated and has lost its true meaning after years of abuse. So what does it really mean to be a “creative” working in the “creative” line?

Here are my humble opinions…

Creativity means a more effective way to communicate (in our line of work, that is)
Communication is what makes the world goes round. Good communication prevents misunderstandings (and stops the guy next to you from punching you for winking at his wife when you were blinking instead). And devastatingly effective communication is supposedly what we are known to be able to deliver.

In my view, anyone who wants to be a truly good creative will first need to be an effective (and hopefully, persuasive) communicator in your life, and not just have an eye for colour co-ordination or possess the vocabulary of an English professor. To do that, a good creative must understand how life works and what makes people tick, be in tune with what’s happening around the world, feel the sentiments around, and have a good grasp of the feelings that are manifesting. If you don’t get a sense of the world around you, how can you expect the world to get a sense of you and what you want to say? Do you seriously think that good and effective ideas will pop out of the blue while we are in our bathrooms doing our Thinker pose?

Be life savvy. And your work will work.

Creativity accords us the privilege to influence. Use it well.
We have the power to influence, and we possess the invaluable opportunity to be able to broadcast our influence to the world via imageries and words. And we must always wield this power responsibly.

A good creative must possess the maturity and commonsense to lay down his or her own set of ethics and principles. My personal ethos is pretty simple: if I don’t believe in it, don’t do it.

Firstly, if I don’t believe in the proof points of a particular product/service/solution/company and I can’t reasonably convince myself about them, then I’ll need to dig harder to find something useful or relevant to shout about. Only propose something (or an angle) that I can truly convince myself about. (In any case, if you truly believe in what you are proposing, you have already won half the battle when it come to convincing your client to accept your idea).

Secondly, if I think a particular product/service/solution/company is questionable, dubious or engaging in unethical business strategies (or even bordering on the grey area when it comes to moral issues, or not in alignment to the values I hold), I will turn it down.

As creatives, we must always remind ourselves that whatever we put out there will have the ability to influence, no matter how minimal.

We have the power to make a difference. Use it well to make a positive change in the world with every word you type, every visual you are designing and every photoshoot or TVC you are art directing.

If you don’t believe in it, don’t do it.

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